the joy of retirement

The Joy Of Retirement

the joy of retirementRetirement can be both an exciting time and a scary time but let us look at it from our normal positive side and look at the joy of retirement and six ways in which you can make it into a great retirement for yourself.

Retirement blesses us with time to do what we truly desire. We’re free to follow our heart’s true desire and find joy while doing so.

However, finding joy in retirement goes beyond finding a beach house or having more free time than you know what to do with it. Here are some important tips for a joyful retirement.

The Joy Of Retirement And How To Make The Most Of It

Cut Spending By Budgeting

A lot has been said concerning money and happiness.

While money doesn’t equate to happiness, it’s one vital component for a joyful retirement. A study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College on what makes retirees happy reaffirms the importance of money.

Most people go on a spending spree the minute they get their retirement money and then end up without a penny a few months later.

You need to budget your money and spend wisely as there wouldn’t be any monthly paychecks anymore.  Remember as you get older your medical bills may get larger so make provision for that.

Get your financial advisor to help you to draw up a financial plan so that you can proceed worry-free into retirement. The best retirement plan ensures that you have enough income to cover your expenses. You also need to make sure that you are on the best medical plan that you can afford for a worry-free retirement.

Maintain a Daily Routine

Indeed one of retirement’s most enticing benefits is the freedom to do whatever you desire. However, it’s easy to fall into an unhealthy pattern which might be detrimental to your health. To prevent this, doctors recommend following a healthy daily routine. 

Incorporate all the activities you love into the routine as well as other healthy activities recommended by your doctor. Doing this will help you avoid the feeling of purposelessness most retirees admit to feeling a few months into retirement.

Make Life Full Of Purpose And Meaning

Make every day meaningful, because a meaningful life lessens the effects of aging. It has been proven that people who have a sense of purpose or even a direction in life outlive their peers. This mindset will improve the joy of retirement no end for you.

In fact, people with a sense of purpose had a 15 percent lower risk of death, compared with those who said they were more or less aimless. And it didn’t seem to matter when people found their direction. It could be in their 20s, 50s, or 70s — even when controlled for other factors that affect longevity like age, gender, and emotional well-being.

If you are looking for meaning in retirement, volunteering might be something to try. This will give you a great sense of purpose and you will be helping others at the same time.

Stay in Touch

A study by the University of Chicago showed that extreme loneliness increases a retiree’s chances of early death by as much as 14%. Being retired takes you out of the majority of your social networks and cuts down on the amount of human connection we make daily.

Extra effort should be put into staying in touch with a thriving social community as the effects of extreme loneliness can be deadly. This can be your family, former colleagues, Faith groups, group affiliations, or community volunteering. Stay active and involved.

Very different from staying in touch, staying active entails playing a role. It can be in the family, your house of faith, or the community. Staying active offers a twofold benefit as it helps you socialize and gives you a sense of purpose.

Doctors say both are vital to the happiness and well-being of a retiree.

Stay Fit By Exercising

While exercise is important at all periods in our lives, it’s even more necessary when you’re retired. Exercising the body is important to both your physical and mental well-being.

Research has shown that frequent exercise helps ward off several health issues and boosts your energy levels.

Spend More Time With The Grandkids

Research from the Institute on Aging at Boston College found that grandparents who were able to both give and receive support from grandchildren are less likely to be depressed. In fact, “the greater emotional support grandparents and adult grandchildren received from one another, the better their psychological health,” said Sara M. Moorman, an assistant professor at Boston College.

If you have grandkids, spending active playtime with them can help you stay healthier. Active play doesn’t have to mean that you’ll climb a tree, but you can play other games and go on outings together. This is great for bonding with them and these bonds that you form now will last forever.

Train Your Brain

Most people go into retirement thankful for the endless hours of free time they’ll have and anticipating just how they’ll spend those hours. Most might decide to pursue an abandoned hobby, read books, or learn new things.

Learning is something that you should never stop doing throughout your life. The health of your brain is really important as you get older.

Many lofty aspirations most times get abandoned a few months into retirement. However, researchers at the Harvard Medical School have proven several times that tasking your brain has unending benefits. It keeps your memory strong and keeps your brain functioning at high levels.

This can be reading a book, painting, doing puzzles, or learning a new skill. Asides from the apparent benefit of tasking your brain, the joy and sense of progress when you chase these pursuits have their own benefits.

You could join a community or group that shares similar passions and enjoy creating new social connections. A group has the added advantage of pushing you past your comfort zone which is great for stimulating the brain.

Think Positively About Aging

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” ― Sophia Loren

Levy has found that when older adults think of getting old as a positive experience, like gaining wisdom, self-realization, and satisfaction, then they:

  • Function at a higher level.
  • Live 7.5 years longer.
  • Are more likely to eat well, exercise, and avoid ill health.

So, as you can see, it’s very possible to experience the joy of retirement. All it requires is some effort to continually do the right thing. When you make the correct lifestyle choices, you’ll be set to enjoy a joyful retirement filled with happiness and purpose.

4 Comments

  1. Hi Michel

    Thank you for this very informative post about the joy of retirement.

    Although I am a long way from retiring it is still never too early to start thinking more about it. 

    What I like the most about this post is the thinking positively about aging as many of us still fear getting older, but it should not be something to be scared of it should rather be embraced with open arms especially if you are prepared for it, and these steps in the post are a great way to start preparing for that day.

    1. Yes it is great to be prepared, especially financially, and then you can ensure with no worries you have a joyous retirement, doing everything you have always wanted to.

  2. Retirement is a joy. Spending it productively and meaningfully is amazing and something we should all strive to aim for.

    I am really inspired by this article. The energy of the words you have given us is so valuable. I hope you will add a wonderful addition to the train your brain section in this article, as would like to know more about this topic.

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